JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A long time Hinds County Circuit Court Judge is retiring after breaking barriers and opening doors for women and African Americans. Judge Tomie Green is leaving the bench this month after 24 years and 35 years of public service.

Green isn’t tall in stature, but she’s filled some big shoes. The little girl from Washington Addition never thought she would grow up to be the first woman elected as a Circuit Court Judge for Hinds County, as well as the first African American and first woman to serve as Senior Circuit Judge in the county.

“And for me, first is just about opening up the door and building a bridge for the generations that were going to come behind me. I’m an educator generally, so every law clerk I have a staff attorney educating them to go out into the community doesn’t have to be be a judge. But to be great lawyers, my staff, they all get out and they educate other people about what the system is,” said Green.

She has accomplished a lot in her 24 years on the bench, but she said creating a drug court for the county is something she’s very proud of.

“I came to do one thing and that is to be fair and impartial. But when I got here, I saw some problems, and James Graves and Alice Clark had talked a lot about drug fraud. So, we’ve been able to establish and develop the great drug court that Judge Kidd holds. That senior judge gets to appoint an individual,” said Green.

When it comes to fighting crime, there’s a lot to be done. Green said the court needs more than four Circuit Court judges for the county.

“We probably have about a thousand cases, each of civil cases and every case filed against the state of Mississippi and its entities has to be filed in Hinds County, so we get those cases. No other district gets that other than Jackson. We are an appellate court, so everything from justice to county appeals to us in a board decision appeals to us,” explained Green.

Green said when she retires, she will know that she has given her best and worked hard for the people of Hinds County. At 70-years-old, she said it’s time for the next generation to take over.